Edward Shaw, MD, MA, identified eight needs central to all dementia care patients. The first, “Tell and retell your story.”
He cites Sandra Day-O’Connor’s open and intentionally public experience as she spoke before congress about her journey…”I submit to you that until you have actually stared Alzheimer’s in the face, you cannot truly understand the deep sense of frustration, fear, helplessness, and grief that accompany it. Alzheimer’s is a family disease…Every member loses something.”
Her words, shared by Dr. Shaw, demonstrate our need to share our story. Talk with someone…anyone. Journal your thoughts and feelings. Let others in on your journey. Let yourself be heard, validated, and less isolated.